Lewis Associates e-Newsletter
Volume 9 Issue 8
Published by Lewis Associates. Dr. Cynthia Lewis, PhD., Editor
with your comments. Enjoy!
It has been an exciting and productive July. For those applying for the Class of 2011, summer is a busy
time, filled with submission of a primary application whose essay seems to need endless revision, tracking
down those elusive letter-writers who "promised" to write and submit their letter "last month", then the waiting
for your application to be "processed", ... and requests for secondaries ... and MORE essays. Some weeks
or months from now, you hope you have made your case to Admissions Committees in written form
effectively ... and will be granted an interview ... where, again, you must now"make your case orally".
For those contemplating a future application, your work now is significant, because it is on the academic
and experiential base that you currently build, that your future application will be successful ... or not!
Many times, students seek me out "when they believe they are ready to apply". A good proportion have
not really prepared appropriately, and have mis-identified how to prepare. I determine your strengths and
weaknesses via my Personal Assessment process, providing you not only with this significant and crucial
information, but also with a Strategy of how to get from where you are to where you want to be. This is
your "Road Map to the Promised Land" (as one of my medical school Dean friends calls it). This strategy is usually
not easy to follow, but it yields great dividends.
I hope you will contact me about your specific situation. We will likely begin with your Personal
Assessment, where your specific strategy will be discussed about how to get to where YOU want to be.
NOW is the right time!
This month's question (on
Dr. Lewis' Facebook page) is: One evening recently I was asked, "How
do I answer the question: 'Why do I want to become a physician ... now?" by a 35 year old man
completing a doctorate in biomedical engineering.
Getting into medical, dental, pharmacy and the other health professions
schools is getting HARDER!
As usually happens in an economic downturn, more people are attracted
to stable careers like the health professions…competition is fierce!
How are YOU going to stand out from thousands of applicants?
Warning about student-run websites from Cornell Medical School Admissions
"PLEASE do not encourage students to get information from web sites
administered by other students. From time to time, I look up the studentdoctor.net
site (for interview ratings) and I am appalled at the amount of misinformation
there. Most of the information given there will hurt students more than
Sick of rumors and false reports? Lewis Associates website has
factual information that you can trust.
Welcome to Success Stories Newsletter!
How to Communicate With Us
Changes in Services
to a health profession
Are You Ready for the Class of 2011?
• How the Performance of the U.S. Health Care System Compares Internationally, 2010 Update
• Defensive medicine to avoid liability lawsuits is widespread
• Implementing Health Care Reform — Why Medicare Matters
• For Your Leadership Toolkit: A New Equation
• World's Best Universities: Life Sciences and Biomedicine
• 'Boston Med' TV Series Features Distinguished Kansas City Osteopathic Medical School Alumna
• Health Reform, Primary Care, and Graduate Medical Education
• Walking the Tightrope of Health Insurance Reform between 2010 and 2014
• Questioning Foreign Medical Schools
• Health Care Reform Center, New England Journal of Medicine
• MD-PhD Dual Degree Training Homepage
• New York Medical College Accelerated Master's Program (AMP) in Basic Medical Science
•Nikita, Entering Class of 2008, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School
Success Story of the Month
• Leah, Entering Class of 2010
Question of the Month
Lewis' answer to this month's question on Facebook. One evening recently I was asked, "How do I answer the question: 'Why do I want to become a
physician ... now?" by a 35 year old man completing a doctorate in biomedical engineering.
Welcome to Lewis Associates!
Nearly one in ten Americans ages 20 to 24 is unemployed. But, health
care jobs remain an economic bright spot. The U.S. Department of
Labor expects the health sector to add more than 1.4 million workers over
the next ten years. Students in college and even high school can start
preparing now for a rewarding health career.
Are you ready?
Our Track Record
Entering Class of 2009...96% acceptance
Entering Class of 2008...96% acceptance
Entering Class of 2007...97% acceptance
Entering Class of 2006...89% acceptance
Entering Class of 2005...100% acceptance
Entering Class of 2004...100% acceptance
We have restructured our Advising package
so you can become competitive during the entire application process!
Our one year package addresses ALL
preparation and application activities, no matter when they occur
for you. We advise all applicants to begin preparation for their
application process at least 18 MONTHS prior to expected
matriculation . But, real preparation to become a strong,
competitive applicant starts when you enter college (and even before!)
So, get started NOW!
If you are interested in personalized advising from “The Best in
the Business,” (quote by Dr. Patrick Linson, Harvard Medical School
Alum who is the only Native American Radiation Oncologist on the planet!),
call Lewis Associates today to schedule YOUR personal assessment. Dr.
Lewis invests in you, so you may live up to your potential to be the best
applicant you can be!
How to Communicate
|Mailing Address: 1885
Laguna del Campo, Templeton, CA 93465
Lewis Associates absorbs Long Distance Charges
All phone conferences are made from our office to you. Marcia, our Administrative
Assistant, calls YOU at your appointment time.
Changes in Services
Where are you
in your journey to a health profession?
In high school? Yes, we advise high school students,
particularly, those interested in BA-MD programs!
Just starting college? This is a scary time. Everything
is new…how do I meet all those new expectations?
Moving into your difficult upper division sciences as a college
junior? Possibly, the "dreaded organic chemistry"…
Re-entering as an "older" non-traditional student?
Re-establishing academic discipline…
We help prepare those of you submitting applications for medical
and dental Residency programs, too!
Whatever niche you fit, we advise students just like you.
you REALLY ready to apply for the Class of 2011 or 2012?
How do you know?
Use our Personal
Assessment--and you will be given your individual strategy
and path to your future! Then, if you use our advising, we help implement
your strategy! And if you start the ultimate Commitement Package within
6 months, we subtract your Personal Assesment Fee from the total. If it
were easy to do, all applicants would be accepted...and, that is not the
Many whom we advise may not yet be ready, and need to develop some aspect
of their background to become competitive. Best to apply when
you are ready, be competitive, and do it ONLY ONCE!
Let's work together to make that one-time application successful…contacting
us earlier is better so we can develop your strategy and address all those
difficult problems…months or years prior to application.
Why not set yourself up for success, rather than toy with the proposition
Gail Ruth, mother of Todd Ruth, Entering Class of
2010, Jefferson University Medical School
Just a short note here to let you know how appreciative we are
of all the wonderful help you gave to our son, Todd. He just received
his first 2 acceptances from his top choices, so we couldn't be more pleased.!
You were instrumental in guiding him as to which courses to take and gave
him invaluable help with his essays. Thanks once again for all your help
David and Maureen Lee, parents of Eric Lee, Entering Class of
2009, Saint Louis University School of Medicine
June, 2009: "Dr. Lewis, We just wanted to drop you a quick
note to say thank you for all of your strategic guidance, wise counsel,
encouragement, and mentoring to our son Eric on his journey to get into
medical school. That is quite a process!! Eric definitely took the "road
less traveled", majoring in philosophy, but he worked really hard
to get his science prerequisites under his belt. He benefited so much
from your experience, insight, and when needed, "tough love".
You kept him on track, and we thank you. We think he will be an excellent
physician. Perhaps some day we will meet. Again with gratitude, David
and Maureen Lee."
Michael Nevarez, Entering Class of 2006, Harvard University School
of Medicine, his first choice school
"Dr. Lewis was a wonderful guide and mentor as I embarked
on a medical career a number of years after graduating from Cal Poly (graduated
2001, applied to med school in 2006). She gave an honest assessment of
the strengths and weaknesses of my profile, and more importantly provided
specific and personalized ways in which I could address
my application and the process going forward. Her advice and experience
was invaluable and I am very happy to have worked with her."
Margaret Jolley, Entering Class of 2008, UC San Diego School of
Medicine, her first choice school
"I never would've made it without my weekly conference with the calm,
experienced Dr. Lewis. She kept me sane. I am so grateful for her guidance,
for her editing help, and for the confidence she instilled in me. She
is a genuinely caring committed Mentor who takes pride in helping our
dreams happen. I have urged every fellow student I know to call her. Let
her help you, too!"
Austin Yoder, Entering Class of 2009, Accepted to Uniformed
Services University for Health Sciences, Philadelphia Osteopathic-GA,
West Virginia Osteopathic, Tennessee Osteopathic, and
Kansas City Osteopathic
"I am utterly grateful to Dr. Lewis for all her help, guidance and
mentorship through the application process. I owe a great deal of my success
to date to her team."
Ariel Chairez, Entering Class 2004, Scholarship Awardee, University
of Wisconsin Medical School
"Dr. Lewis, I would like to thank you for all of your help.
Without your guidance, I would not have been accepted
into medical school this year. I am extremely happy to have been accepted
to one of the top medical schools in the country, and to have received
a scholarship of $130,000. For any student who questions the value
of your services, I can say that you have saved me $130,000 in tuition!
John Fiszer (Lawyer), Entering Class of 2005,
University Of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine
Dr. Lewis' note: John was an Assistant State's Prosecuting Attorney in
Chicago, Illinois, when he contacted me in 2004. Finishing his 4th year
of medical school, he said: "I am really enjoying med school, and
I am thankful to Dr. Lewis for her help. Her methodical, disciplined approach
to the med school application process, as well as her insight into the
transition to med school were right on target."
Ali Warrick, Entering Class 2011 Advisee
"Dear Dr. Lewis,
I appreciate your help in my transfer process to UC Berkeley. You have
been an integral part of the transition, and I would like to thank you
for your time and efforts. I know that your work is very thorough
and well thought out. In addition, I believe that you really care about
your students, and believe in each student's "right fit" in
a school. You lead many people toward a brighter future, and I would like
to say, 'Thank You!' for your contribution toward my academic goals. This
process has been much more enjoyable with your guidance. Thank you for
being so good at what you do."
S, Entering Class 2008, accepted with full scholarship
to Mayo Medical School
"I cannot thank Dr. Lewis enough for her support and invaluable advice.
When I came to her, I was apprehensive about the formidable task of applying
to medical school especially with my past academic and personal hardships.
She helped me see that overcoming these difficulties was a testament to
my strength, dedication, and diligence. One of the most surprising outcomes
of our relationship was that she was effective in helping me develop a
more positive self-image and conquer many of my insecurities. Without
her guidance and letter of evaluation, I would not have been able to earn
an acceptance to Mayo Medical School, which granted me a merit scholarship
that covers almost all of my tuition. I truly appreciate all of her help.
She went above and beyond her role as an Advisor by becoming a Mentor
to me. She is absolutely the best in the business!"
In order to be a competitive Class of 2011 or 2012 applicant,
you need to submit a quality application as evaluated by your clinical,
service and other experiences and your GPA-MCAT/DAT/GRE, etc. profile
in a timely fashion. This requires a well thought-out strategy to carry
you through the difficult year-long application process. If you use Dr.
Lewis' advising, we begin preparation early in the year BEFORE submission
of your application!
EARLY is always better, removes much of the pressure, and allows
time to solve unforeseen problems and challenges.
What are your chances?
If you want to change your career, or reach your present career goal,
but do not know how to begin, or how to jump over all those hurdles, Lewis
Associates will advise you and implement strategies to change your life.
Dr. Lewis is thorough and professional.
Read on our website about
getting your Personal
Assessment done, then phone or email
us to get started! Dr. Lewis spends, on average, 7 hours developing
an effective strategy of taking you from where you are to where you want
to be. Added Benefit: We will subtract
the cost of your Personal Assesment from an Ultimate Commitment Package
if you choose it within 6 months.
You may be like our other Lewis Associates Advisees -- highly motivated
and intelligent -- but needing focus, guidance and specific technical
expertise. Dr. Lewis solves problems for her Advisees and finds opportunities
for them. Or, you may wish to use hourly advising to solve one specific
Dr. Lewis is a trained Biologist, having taught and directed her own research
programs for many years at two universities. She earned two postdoctoral
fellowships (one at NIH), received the 1990 NACADA Outstanding
Institutional Advising Program in the U.S. and directed her own Health
Careers Opportunity Program grant for 6 years, bringing $1 million to
her university while helping hundreds of disadvantaged
students enter health professions.
If you are serious about making your dreams to become a physician,
dentist, physician assistant, veterinarian, optometrist, podiatrist, naturopathic
physician, or pharmacist a reality--Dr. Lewis can help you.
We have made the difference for more than 800 alumni now training or practicing
in medicine over the last 23 years.
Dr. Lewis teaches Professionalism, Leadership, and Quality, and
sets high standards for her Advisees.
Lewis Associates will save you money and heartache on your preparation
and application process.
Contact the Health Career experts! For more
information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call 805-226-9669 to set up your first appointment.
How the Performance of the U.S. Health Care System Compares Internationally, 2010 Update
Despite having the most costly health system in the world, the United States consistently underperforms
on most dimensions of performance, relative to other countries.
Defensive medicine to avoid liability lawsuits is widespread
Many doctors in a nationwide survey agreed that unnecessary diagnostic tests will not end without
protections against unwarranted lawsuits.
Implementing Health Care Reform — Why Medicare Matters
Despite the major achievements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in providing health
insurance for more than 30 million Americans and regulating objectionable insurance-company practices,
its opponents alleged throughout the health care reform debate that it would negatively affect Medicare
For Your Leadership Toolkit: A New Equation
Students sometime encounter situations that leave a lasting impression and reveal an intangible quality
about themselves that stands out within peer groups.
World's Best Universities: Life Sciences and Biomedicine
'Boston Med' TV Series Features Distinguished Kansas City Osteopathic Medical School Alumna
Dr. Parks, recipient of KCUMB's 2009 Young Alumni Achievement Award, is a well-respected
cardiologist who specializes in transplantation at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Health Reform, Primary Care, and Graduate Medical Education
Challenges are whether newly insured individuals will actually have access to health care once they
become insured and whether Medicare should expand its support of graduate medical education (GME)
training to increase capacity.
Walking the Tightrope of Health Insurance Reform between 2010 and 2014
Implement meaningful reforms in the transition to a stable insurance market without unduly disrupting
existing insurance arrangements by means of excessive increases in premiums or declines in coverage.
Questioning Foreign Medical Schools
Just as Congress ratchets up its scrutiny of for-profit higher education as a whole, the body's investigative
arm is calling on the U.S. Department of Education to begin examining some of the same issues of value
and quality at foreign medical schools where Americans use federal student loans.
Health Care Reform Center, New England Journal of Medicine
MD-PhD Dual Degree Training Homepage
New York Medical College Accelerated Master's Program (AMP) in Basic Medical Science
Find these and other useful links on
Nikita, Entering Class of 2008, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School
July 7, 2010: "Hi Dr. Lewis, How are you doing? I am doing well--I just finished my second year of med
school! After taking my Step 1 exam, I spent a week in Haiti doing medical volunteer work with fellow
UT Southwestern students. I am currently a few days into my third year...I'm on my surgery rotation!!!
It's very exciting to finally be in the hospital and to start seeing patients! Nikita."
Leah, Entering Class of 2010
During my sophomore year of college, I began seriously considering the medical school application
process. At the time, I never thought getting into school would be a challenge for me, and I definitely never
anticipated the long road that lay ahead. I come from a large family of 5 siblings. Having grown up with
significant financial hardship, I started working when I was 14. As the 2nd oldest, I always wanted to be a
role model for my younger siblings and thereby became a very determined individual. In high school, I
worked hard and excelled, earning full scholarships to attend the University of San Diego. I love learning
and enjoyed school. In college, I chose to major in psychology and minor in bio and chem. I was doing
well for the first year, and my science classes confirmed my desire to become a doctor.
The day before my sophomore year finals, I was a passenger in a major car accident, which shattered my
left eye socket. I didn't realize at the time how long I would experience academic repercussions of this
accident. I had surgery to repair my eye socket and spent the next month not permitted to read or even
watch TV, because of the bleeding in that eye. I missed finals, study sessions and while I made finals up a
month later, I couldn't study for them. Although I worked hard, my GPA plummeted. I had also become
overcommitted to extra-curricular, work and volunteer commitments. My grades were ok, but not nearly
where I needed to be competitive for med school. In addition to the car accident, I had just been
diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes during my senior year of high school. As college classes became more
difficult, I experienced the stress of exams for the first time, and it reflected in my blood sugar
fluctuations. For weeks after finals, my blood sugar would soar, and no amount of insulin or exercise
would bring it back to normal. I struggled with my diabetes in college, but didn't let the frustration get to
me. Every set of exams was a learning tool for how to better manage the next ones.
I took the MCAT the first time during my junior year, amid numerous commitments, and did not study
enough. That summer, I went on a mission trip to Mexico City where I spent 2 months living and
working among the urban poor with a teammate. Looking back, this was one of my most powerful and
challenging experiences thus far. I loved working at the clinics and helping provide healthcare in an area
where it was desperately needed. This was also the first experience I'd ever had where my diabetes had
been useful. I was able to connect with other patients personally. I was surprised to come back from
Mexico City angry at the injustices I'd witnessed, more determined than ever to use my medical
training to serve those in poverty. I also returned to discover my first MCAT scores were not acceptable. I
retook the MCAT 2 weeks after returning from Mexico, hardly having studied. Again, my scores were
sub-par. Nonetheless, I was passionate about medicine. My pre-med advisors assured me I wouldn't get
into med school with my science grades or MCAT scores. Against their advice, during my senior year, I
applied to a handful of CA schools and post-bac programs at the very end of the application cycle. I had
never been rejected from anything before. I was shocked when I was rejected from every program I'd
I spent the next year working at Children's Hospital and taking post-bac classes at UCSD, trying to get a new game plan in order. I reapplied to post-bac programs and was thankfully accepted to Georgetown's
Complementary and Alternative Medicine program. I made the big move to DC and began the application
process all over again. This time, I focused on just my classes and excelled. Georgetown's MS program
was truly a blessing in disguise. After years of finals, I finally had a better grasp on how to maintain my
diabetes during stress. I also discovered a passion for alternative medicine. I matured as a student and
person and met an excellent pre-med advisor who believed in my ability to become a doctor as much as I
did. After a long application process, I had one interview, was waitlisted and not accepted. It was at this
point that I met Dr. Lewis, who helped me in every possible way, from editing hundreds of essays to preparing me for interviews. We made a realistic plan for retaking the MCAT, obtaining new letters, and even taking extra classes and finding a job during my time off. Her words of reassurance and constant reality checks helped me find the motivation to stick to my re-application plan.
After graduating from Georgetown, I studied for the MCAT again. 1 day before my exam, I was denied
diabetes testing accommodations. This meant that I had to take the exam without testing supplies, glucose
or my insulin pump. Stubbornly refusing to accept not applying that year, to the detriment of my health, I
took the exam anyway without my diabetes needs. As predicted, my blood sugar soared, making it
impossible to focus. My scores fell significantly. After so much work, I began to believe that medicine
would be impossible at this point. I withdrew every application except 1. I interviewed at UCLA Drew
but was eventually rejected. Meanwhile, Dr. Lewis pushed me to work on obtaining stronger letters of recommendation outside the college committee process.
In 2009, I finally realized that I had to devote the time to the MCAT that it required. Standardized tests
are not my strong point. So, I spent 4 months retaking an MCAT class and strictly studying for the exam
every day. I took the exam with accommodations this time, and my scores improved significantly. While
working, I reapplied for the 4th official time. To my shock, after submitting 32 applications, I received 10
interviews! Five years after my very first application, I currently have 2 acceptances and am waiting on 2
waitlists to decide my future school.
I never anticipated applying to medical school 3 times in order to get accepted . . .I cannot count the
number of times I have cried in the past 4 years of applying. After each rejection, I was tempted to
believe the words of many advisors, who based on numbers alone, assured me that medicine was not for
me. But, deep down, I always knew I would be an excellent doctor, and that medicine was written in my
heart somewhere. The day I received my first acceptance from U Illinois at Chicago, I will never forget. It
was one of the happiest days and biggest accomplishments of my life. I am still in shock at the reality
that "I get to be a doctor!" I am indebted to so many family, friends, mentors, and advisors whose help,
time, pep talks, belief in me, and encouragement kept me committed.
Looking back on this arduous process, I am thankful. I have learned from my persistence. I can say now
that I am ready to become a doctor. To every applicant out there who does not believe it is possible, I
hope you believe after reading my story that you can do it. Believe in yourself, and don't give up! I am
testimony that hard work pays off. I can't wait to begin my journey.
Email to Dr. Lewis if you wish to communicate
about medical schools or other issues or to contact those profiled in
Success Stories: email@example.com
question of the month...see
Facebook, Advising Tips tab (link)
By Dr. Cynthia Lewis, PhD
One evening recently I was asked, "How do I answer the question: 'Why do I want to become a
physician ... now?" by a 35 year old man completing a doctorate in biomedical engineering.
We will feature an important question each
month. Please submit one that interests you for Dr. Lewis to answer. Send
your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
with 'Newsletter Question' in the subject line.
The Association of International
Graduate Admissions Consultants' (AIGAC) Stamp of Excellence is issued
based on education, professional experience as a graduate admissions consultant,
and commitment to the AIGAC's principles of good practices. AIGAC exists
to define and promote professional excellence in serving graduate and
professional school applicants worldwide.
lewis associates advising
Lewis Associates specializes in personal, effective and professional
premedical advising and placement for traditional and non-traditional
applicants. Often, non-traditional students are older than 21 years
of age, career changers, international applicants or second-round applicants
for admission to health professions school.
Lewis Associates' services meet the needs of all types of students from
pre-applicants to applicants, including hourly advising support for
specific needs. Click
"It's never too late to be who you might have been."
If this is how YOU feel, then, maybe Lewis Associates is the place
for you. Lewis Associates provides Mentoring and Coaching through
the rigorous and often circuitous pre-health preparation and application
process. Other consultants may support programs like Law and Business
or graduate school -- not Lewis Associates. We are the experts in
Health Professions based on 23 years of a successful
Call or email today to set your first appointment!
Copyright 2009, Lewis Associates. All rights reserved.
Please do not repost on any website without direct permission from Lewis
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